Comrade Fernando Gonzales
Comrade Iraklis from World Peace Council
Distinguished leaders in the Dias
Delegates from Asia Pacific region and other continents:
It gives me immense pleasure to be here today to observe opening of the 9th Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Solidarity with Cuba. I would like to thank the organizer for giving me this opportunity and express best wishes for the grand success of this Conference.
Dear Comrades & Friends,
Cuba is not just the name of a nation of the progressive movement around the world, rather it is a symbol of struggle for sovereignty; inspiration for peoples’ organization and movements; and a nation of learning with best social security system for its people. It is a nation of courageous people who have always stood united and strong to reject external interference and domination.
Despite decades of sanctions, blockades and other restrictions, Cuba has demonstrated to the world that unjust behavior cannot kill the conscience of the peace and freedom loving people. The Embargo against Cuba has not weakened Cuban people’s patience, nationalist vision and defense of sovereignty.
Our solidarity goes to the people and leaders of Cuba in their efforts to defend national sovereignty. At this very moment, I deem it important to remember the great leader of Cuba, Feidel Castro and the revolutionary leader Comrade Che Guevara, who liberated Cuba from the corrupt despotic regime of Batista and established progressive system in the country.
Their contribution is not confined to Cuba only. We, too, have received boundless inspiration from great revolutionary leaders of Cuba in our struggle to liberate Nepali people from the clutches of despotic and autocratic regime. So, our vision and journey have some similarities in pursuit of socialism. This brings us closer in our political objectives.
The sanction against Cuba is against the universal norms and values of human rights. The cost that Cuban has been bearing due to trade embargo has gone over 130 Billion Dollar in the past 6 decades.
The UN General Assembly adopts every year a resolution calling for an end to the embargo with overwhelming majority. It has been almost 26 years that the international community has rejected the sanctions against Cuba. Yet, despite strong global call, it is continuing. The voice of the international community must be heard. We support the United Nations resolution and call for respecting Cuba’s sovereignty and peoples’ aspiration and ending the Embargo. Nepal has consistently and unequivocally voted UN resolution in favour of Cuba.
In Nepal, we are proud to share with you that the struggle of Nepali people over the past 7 decades ultimately resulted in the formation of a strong Communist Party Government elected by the people. We would like to celebrate this victory with all our well-wishers around the world. We welcome feedback and support to strengthen our progressive internationalism. The merger of two big communist parties, which played a decisive role in political transition of Nepal, has inspired and encouraged people of Nepal and generated hope among the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged communities. We have finally concluded the unification process of our party and very soon we are going to hold our national congress, which will further strengthen our party, promote peoples’ participation in our party process and provide us with updated ideological directions.
In Nepal, we are practicing federalism with three tiers of government. The Constitution has delineated the powers and authority of three tiers of federal set-up. Our federalism is premised on the tenets of coexistence and cooperation.
The past one year was dedicated to formulate and amend laws and policies to operationalize the new governance structure. Our Government had to spend significant amount of time to make adjustment into our national policies, economy, etc. with more nationalist, independent and progressive peoples’ perspective.
Our government has been pursuing foreign policy based on the principles of sovereign equality, mutual respect and benefit. The Government is committed to enhancing friendly ties with our immediate neighbours, India and China and with all other countries in the world. Amity with all and enmity with none is our foreign policy motto. “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” is our national aspiration and our development efforts are geared towards realizing this aspiration.
Nepal and Cuba share friendly ties. We share not only a bond of friendship of 44 years, but are very close to each other in terms of our national vision, defending sovereignty and promoting progressive internationalism. Our relations are not confined to government level alone; people-to-people relations are steadily growing thereby consolidating the foundation of our relationship. However, we do not have strong trade and commercial relations due to geographical distance.
Cuba is an example to the world how a sustainable economy can be promoted with people’s determination and confidence amidst several adversities. Tourism industry is flourishing and the country has implemented one of the most successful social security systems.
Nepal and Cuba are geographically far apart. This has somehow limited our overall interaction with Cuba. But, development of modern technologies and revolutionization in transportation system have reduced the world into a global village. Geographical distance is no longer an obstacle in the traditional sense of the term. There are many ways in which our partnership can be promoted and enhanced for the mutual benefit of our two countries and people.
We are thankful to the Cuban Government and leaders for sending medical team and assisting us during the devastating earthquake in 2015. The support from Cuba was prompt, spontaneous and genuine.
Distinguished Delegates and peace campaigners
Today the world order has become more complex and uncertain. There is a growing tendency to undermine multilateralism and the rules-based system. Unilateral actions and protectionism run contrary to internalist perspective that we all are committed to pursuing. International system has not been fully democratized and international institutions are not immune from power politics. A just, fair and democratic world order is yet to be achieved. We progressive forces all over the world need to work together to realize this objective. Solidarity, unity and understanding among us is very important to advance our common agenda for peace, security and development in our countries and other parts of the world.
I am confident that this august gathering of the leaders of peace and solidarity movement would come up with concrete suggestions and recommendations for making the world a safer and just place for everyone to live in peace and dignity without any interference. The humanity has come a long way and in the course of its evolution it has developed universal values of equality and mutual respect. We must practice them for our common good. Sovereign equality is the fundamental basis of international relations. It is equal for all, big or small, rich or poor, and will remain so. International role without responsibility is not justifiable; so is the power without obligation. Justice should remain at the core of international behavior.
Let’s work together to promote solidarity and understanding for a just and democratic world order.
Let the people of Cuba enjoy their rights and freedom.